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Earth Day!

Hello everyone – it’s that time again! Earth Day, April 22nd, is just around the corner (not that the Earth has corners)…let’s just say Earth Day is on the horizon!

All kidding aside, MHYC is dedicated to conserving our natural resources. One of the ways we make a measurable impact is through our Energy & Water Program. Corpsmembers enter low-income residences and nonprofit buildings, assess possible ways for occupants to save energy (and money!), and then install water and energy-efficiency measures. These include the addition of compact fluorescent light bulbs, aerators, programmable thermostats, and high-efficiency toilets. Corpsmembers also provide client education on the new devices – all at no cost to residents!

We’re proud of the difference our Energy & Water Program is making throughout the Metro Denver area:

  • Last year, MHYC installed almost 11,000 energy efficient light bulbs, over 2,500 energy efficient shower heads, approximately 2,000 high-efficiency toilets, and over 6,000 water faucet aerators.
  • The amount of air pollution we reduced in 2013 was the equivalent of planting approximately 281 acres of trees.
  • This is also equal to removing 178 cars from the road!
  • Last year, our installation of high-efficiency toilets and showerheads conserved over 53,000,000 gallons of water.
  • These water conservation efforts saved an amount of water roughly the size of 82 Olympic swimming pools!

Still need more inspiration? Other animals recycle (check out this crow – you go crow!), and there are plenty of ways to reuse your old things (here are 41 to get you started). However you help conserve our resources, MHYC supports your conservation efforts – we look forward to celebrating Earth Day with you next year (and for a few billion more after that).

 

Check out some photos from this year’s Conference of Young Leaders. Our representatives, Jenny and Chantel, participated among 115 other students to meet with legislators and develop leadership skills. They took part in meetings on Capital Hill and joined workshops on numerous skill-builders including public speaking and career-readiness training.

Xavier Jennings, a staff representative who accompanied them and YouthBuild alumni, stated, “It was amazing to see them out there. They were socializing with everyone and gave a great impression. It meant a lot to them to have this opportunity to meet people from all over the country!”

 

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Mile High Youth Corps is participating in the 1st Annual National YouthBuild Day. Mile High Youth Corps has one of only 264 YouthBuild programs in the US. Mile High Youth Corps has enrolled over 300 YouthBuild Corpsmembers and built 788 affordable housing units.

63% of our Corpsmembers have earned AmeriCorps Educational Awards, 42% of program graduates have earned their GED, and last year 22 youth completed MHYC’s YouthBuild program. We can’t wait to see these Corpsmembers complete the program this June and continue making a positive impact in the community.

 

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Please join Mile High Youth Corps on social media in celebrating, elevating and advocating the many ways that YouthBuild can create positive change for ourselves, our families, and our communities. #YouthBuildDay

 

We are excited for our YouthBuild Corpsmembers, Jenny Rios-Quintero and Chantel Clark, to take their first trip to Washington D.C. for the 26th Annual AmeriCorps Conference of Young Leaders! They will represent Mile High Youth Corps among one hundred delegates around the country to develop their leadership skills by attending workshops (all led by YouthBuild graduates) and meeting Congressional leaders.

Chantel expressed what this conference means to her:

“This a unique opportunity that I’ve been given. I’ve never had the chance to go out of state. I’m excited to meet people from all over the country and experience something completely new!”

Stay tuned for more on the summit when they return!

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Chantel (left) and Jenny (right) participating in a classroom debate.

 

The Denver Inner City Parish has been serving the Greater Denver Area for over 54 years, focusing on the key community areas of Education, Hunger Relief, Community Enhancement and Economic Development. The primary goal of the Denver Inner City Parish is to empower communities and support personal transformations, ultimately creating self-sustaining lifestyles for those who are most vulnerable. The Parish reaches over 25,000 individuals annually. Sometimes this work is as simple as providing a clean, functioning toilet.

 

With 50 students and staff and only four working toilets in their school building, Adrian Castro of DICP called Mile High Youth Corps’ Water Conservation Program to see if he could get help with replacing 12 old, water guzzling toilets at two locations with top of the line, high-efficiency toilets. After working with our partners at Denver Water, MHYC was able to qualify all of the toilets at DICP for replacement.

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Being a non-profit on a tight budget with one full-time maintenance person, replacing 12 toilets would have taken me all week and cost us more than we could afford…MHYC came in and replaced all 12 toilets in less than one day,” says Castro.

 

By the end of the day, the staff and students at the Denver Inner City Parish were thrilled by the good service and their newly working toilets. Castro knows the tremendous impact will go beyond working toilets.

We are…excited to know that we will be saving money on our water bills for both locations and saving a ton of water every day,” he says.

 

Mile High Youth Corps provides energy and water audits for single and multi-family homes, non-profit and religious organizations to determine their eligibility for energy and water efficiency retrofits. These services would not be possible without the collaboration between Mile High Youth Corps and our partners: Aurora Water, Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, Denver Water, Energy Outreach Colorado, Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and Xcel Energy. In 2013 these services conserved over 53,000,000 gallons of water and over 383,500 kilowatt hours of energy, saving clients nearly half a million dollars in life cycle savings. For more information about this program and our services check out our website.

This past week Mile High Youth Corps held  elections for Leadership Council and welcomed its new members, making it a full eight Corpsmember council.

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The goal of Leadership Council is to foster a spirit of cooperation and positive Corps culture among Corpsmembers and staff. Leadership Council members will have the opportunity to promote and encourage activities for the best interest of their programs, further develop leadership skills through training with staff  and experience, and be a voice for their crew as well as a support for Corpsmembers in other crews. 

In the past, Leadership Council members have created MHYC career day, changed our smoking policy, spearheaded our Halloween and Thanksgiving events, organized a fundraiser for ARC, participated in service projects, and served as welcome leaders during crew orientations. Congratulations to all on Leadership Council, MHYC cannot wait to see all the amazing work you will do in this coming term.

The Colorado Springs Winter Fire Mitigation Crew began 35 weeks of work this winter which will span three seasons as part of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Risk Reduction Program whose purpose is to protect property in the wildland-urban interface. Mile High Youth Corps Colorado Springs has been contracted to work in three areas for this project: Red Rock Canyon, Section 16 and Ute Valley Park.

The season came to an end last week and the project sponsor is thrilled with the progress the crew has made.

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Mile High Youth Corps has done an excellent job following the forest prescription for this area and I’m excited to get them back on this project in the spring.

-Dennis Will, Staff Forester, City of Colorado Springs

This is the first winter crew for MHYC and as far as we are aware the only winter crew in the state. This winter the crew worked through cold weather, rain and snow and according to crew leader Daniel Neiman all the while maintained a positive attitude. They completed fire mitigation on Section 16, a popular hiking destination in the Colorado Springs area, and removed all Siberian Elm from the treatment area in Red Rock Open Space. 700 cubic yards of Siberian Elm was chipped after removal and transported to Colorado Springs Utilities to be used to produce bio fuel. The crew also removed oak stand clusters, took out dead and downed trees and removed tangled barbed wire fencing. Our Corpsmembers are excited to have made history as MHYC’s first ever winter crew!

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